Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rethinking another piece of Hydro's plan

  • Print

In the article Unprecedented risk (June19), Byron Williams and Gloria Desorcy expose the narrow vision, risky and costly gamble the NDP government and Manitoba Hydro are forcing upon us. They raised the fast-falling costs of distributed solar power and energy storage. Winnipeg is close to the 50th latitude, which also passes through the centre of Germany. On a day in April 2012, all of Germany was cloudless and their total distributed solar power reached of 22 gigawatts, or more than three Manitoba Hydros. We get more sunshine than Germany, and solar cells are more efficient in the cold.

Furthermore, Hydro's controversial Bipole III can be delayed. No debate on the need for or alternatives to Bipole III was allowed by the government, which said it is needed for "reliability." Yet, Hydro intends to use it for export of hydroelectricity into this risky U.S. market, without adding the Bipole III carrying charges of $200 to $300 million per year to the export sale price to the U.S., Manitoba ratepayers will be stuck with these carrying charges, subsidizing the sales to the Americans.

At an independent inquiry held by the Bipole III Coalition in May, several experts testified, leading to the conclusion Hydro should cancel, or at least defer, Bipole III.

Instead of building Bipole III now, west of Lake Manitoba, it could be delayed until it is required for domestic power transmission and the high-voltage direct current line could be compacted to go roadside, or share right-of-way with rail lines. And we do not have to rip up northern wild lands and forests to do this. The province is planning to build an all-weather road up the east side of Lake Winnipeg, up to the isolated Island Lakes communities. Running Bipole III alongside this road would permit it to go northwards along existing transmission right-of-way to where the northern converter is to be located at Keewatinoow. This would prevent the distress to First Nations, Métis and farmers who will be impinged upon by the planned western bipole route, with greatly reduced overall environmental impact.

Manitoba Hydro has the engineering skill to design and build this new, compact roadside line when it is finally needed. Such a compact direct current transmission line would be no higher than the alternating current transmission lines going through River Heights in Winnipeg.

 

Dennis Woodford was a transmission planning engineer at Manitoba Hydro for 15 years and executive director of the Manitoba HVDC Research Centre for 15 years.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 23, 2014 A9

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Peguis Chief Hudson comments on toddler's death upgrade to homicide investigation

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005
  • A golfer looks for his ball in a water trap at John Blumberg Golf Course Friday afternoon as geese and goslings run for safety- See Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge- Day 24– June 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you like Gord Steeves’ idea to sell four city-owned golf courses to fund road renewal?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google